Programming, Software and Code

Parrot Project Proliferation Part 1

It seems I can't shake a stick without hitting a new Parrot-related development project. They're everywhere, increasing in number, attracting new contributors, and growing like wildfire. We all know about Rakudo, so I don't need to give them any more free advertising. But there are plenty of newer, smaller projects that could use a little bit of exposure. So, in a small miniseries of posts, I would like to discuss some of the new Parrot-related projects that are worth some attention:


There haven't been any commits to the project in about a month now, judging from the commit log on the project website. However, this is still a very cool project that I've wanted to tackle myself for some time. It's Smart-Make, a "make" variant implemented on top of Parrot. It supports compatibility for GNU Make, but also appears to implement another, better, syntax as well. I'm not versed on all the details of it, but it looks like it could be an awesome project and an absolute staple of the Parrot development world.

I've wanted to put together a build tool on Parrot for a while now. There are a few reasons for this:
  1. I've always hated the syntax of GNU Make, and anything that could improve on that would be awesome.
  2. A rule-based decision engine or inference engine could be the backbone for a large number of projects. Prolog is a great example.
So, it appears that Parrot now has a make utility. Only question is: what do we need to do to use it now? Is anybody currently using it?


I've mentioned it a few times, but I don't think I've really described it. Plumage is to Parrot approximately as CPAN is to Perl5. It's the "Module Ecosystem", a central metadata repository that helps coordinate a wide array of interdependent projects. I haven't done more then a cursory walkabout in Plumage, but it looks like a really great start for now. Plus, I'm happy that Matrixy and Parrot-Linear-Algebra are being tracked with it.

Eventually, all the installation directions for Matrixy and Parrot-Linear-Algebra will say "Use Plumage", it will just work, and everything will be very easy.


When I heard about this one I got excited: I thought it was a PL/1 compiler for Parrot. I mean, I wouldn't ever write a program in PL/1 other then some cutesy proof-of-concept stuff. But it would be cool to have in a "we have more nerd cred then you" kind of way.

Fortunately for everybody, PL/Parrot is not a PL/1 compiler. It's bindings for PostgreSQL. Or, it will be.

PostgreSQL has a cool interface that allows procedural programming languages to be plugged in to it. By writing a binding for Parrot, suddenly we get the ability to plug in any language that runs on Parrot into PostgreSQL without having to duplicate any of the effort. Cool no?

Other Projects

I'd like to highlight other Parrot-related projects here on my blog. Start a cool one yourself? Know somebody who's started one? I'd love to hear about it and I would love to talk about it here.

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